About this work
The main purpose of this work was to define and locate more clearly the projects El Roble, Lachatao and Geranio. The map illustrates these three mining projects of the Canadian company First Mining Gold Corp. (FMGC), as well as the the Natividad and Anexas concessions, and other concessions in the same area.
FMGC is a Canadian enterprise that has 25 mining projects in Canada, Mexico and the United States, which can be found in phases of exploration and development. Until now, they have not had any mines in operation. Their principal focus is gold.
A review was made of the concession of the Sierra Norte and its Public Mining Registry Cards. The cards detail movements, contracts and agreements of the concessions. It was contrasted with requests for public information (2014 Folder 0001000102914, 2017 Folder 0001000165917 and 2018 Folder 0001000026318) available in the transparency portal, data from the Sistema Integral sobre Economia Minera(SINEM), data from the Servicio Geológico Mexicano(SGM) and the concession layer Cartografía Minera downloaded from datos.gob.mx. We worked with the concession layer of the Cartografía Minera from the Secretaría de la Economía and the Límites Municipales layer from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) through the open source QGIS program.
According to their description, FMGC catogorizes their projects in tiers; Tier 1 are the most advanced projects, Tier 2 and Tier 3 are less developed. The three projects in Oaxaca are classified as Tier 3.
FMGC indicates 11 concessions linked to their subsidiary Minera Teocuitla, grouped in 3 projects (El Roble, Geranio y Lachatao). However, the Secretaría de Economía in response to the 2018 information request includes a project called Natividad, noting that it is managed by First Mining Gold Corp and is in the exploration stage. The company does not indicate any projects called Navidad, although it is certain that their three projects can be found near the historic Natividad mine. In the descriptions of the projects on the website the company states that their project can be found in the mining district of Natividad, but at no time had they named their project Natividad.
It is worth mentioning that the Secretaría de la Economía, in the different responses to our requests for information, indicates that different projects were all of the same subsidiary; Minera Teocuitla. However, each year the different parent companies of the subsidiaries appear with different names, as they have changed through different transactions before becoming the FMGC.
In 2014 three projects are mentioned under the subsidiary Teocuitla, and the parent company Sundance Minerals Ltd. These projects are Lachatao, Natividad and Geranio. The Roble project is not mentioned, although in the report, the company sustains that it has defined this project since 2010.
In 2017 the Secretaría de Economía mentions projects of the First Mining Finance Corp, including only the projects Geranio-Natividad and Lachatao. They continue without citing El Roble. In the response of the Secretaría de Economía does not inform the municipality nor the subsidiary of these projects. The Secretaria de Economia in their response to the request for public information with regards to File 0001000026318, does not indicate the municipality or subsidiary for the project.
Detailed information by project
According to the same company, this project consists of two concessions: Reducción El Roble* and El Roble 2, which cover 9,666 hectares. These projects can both be found in the exploration stage. In the Cartografía Minera published by the Secretaría de Economía in 2018 two concessions were found: 1.”REDUCCIÓN EL ROBLE” (Title:245367) and 2. “EL ROBLE 2”: (Title: 236684).
When making overlaying these concessions and the INEGI Límites Municipales layer, it was found that these concessions cover territories of the Ixtlán de Juárez, San Juan Atepec, San Pedro Yaneri, Capulálpam de Méndez, San Miguel Yotao and Santiago Xiacuí municipalities.
Before its reduction in 2016, the El Roble concession covered 15,780 hectares of the Ixtlán de Juárez, San Andrés Solaga, San Juan Juquila Vijanos, San Juan Yaeé, Capulálpam de Méndez, San Miguel Yotao, San Pedro Yaneri, Santa María Yalina, Santiago Xiacuí and Tanetze de Zaragoza municipalites.
The Secretaría de Economía in their response to the request for public information for File 001000026318, did not indicate a municipality nor a subsidiary for the project El Roble.
According to the company, this project consists of 6 concessions: La Ramita, Geranio, Violeta, Azucena, El Jilguero and La Orquídea, which cover 540 hectares. These concessions are in the exploration stage. In the 2018 Cartografía Minera of the Secretaría de Economía there are six concessions: 1. “LA RAMITA” (Title: 204535), 2. “GERANIO” (Title: 195722), 3. “VIOLETA” (Title: 217519), 4. “AZUCENA” (Title: 204535), 5. “EL JILGUERO” (Title: 188374) and 6. “LA ORQUIDEA” (Title: 195427).
When overlaying these concessions and the Límites Municipales layer, it was found that they cover territory in the Natividad, Capulálpam de Méndez and Santiago Xiacuí municipalities.
The Secretaría de la Economía in their response to the request for public information about Folder 001000026318, indicated Tanetze de Zaragoza as a municipality that was part of the project Gernaio, though none of the six concessions of the project touch this municipality.
According to the company the Lachatao project consists of three concessions: Lizi 1, Lizi 1 Fraccion 2 and Lizi 1 Fraccion 3, which make up an area of 5,126 hectares. These concessions are in the exploration phase. In the Cartografía Minera published by the Secretaría de Economía in 2018 there are three concessions: 1. “LIZI 1” (Title: 237145), 2. “LIZI 1 FRACCION DOS” (Title: 237146) y 3. “LIZI 1 FRACCION TRES” (Title: 237147).
When overlaying these concessions with the Límites Municipales layer, it was found that they cover territory in the San Miguel Amatlán, Santa Catarina Lachatao, Santa María Yavesía, Santiago Xiacuí, Capulálpam de Méndez, San Juan Chicomezúchil and Ixtlán de Juárez municipalities.
The Secretaría de la Economía in responding to the request for public information about File 001000026318, indicated the Lachatao project is in the Santa Catarina Lachato municipio. In reality, the concessions implicated in the project touch another six municipalities more, with a total of 7 municipalities affected.
There are 14 concessions titled for Company MINERA DE NATIVIDAD Y ANEXAS, S.A. DE C.V. in the Cartografía Minera which cover territory inside of the Natividad, Capulálpam de Méndez, Ixtlán de Juárez, San Miguel Amatlán, Santiago Xiacuí y San Miguel Yoteo municipalities. The concessions are the followings.
PROVIDENCIA UNO (Title: 186585), PROVIDENCIA DOS (Title: 186920), MARINER NO.2 (Title: 192785), DON LUIS (Title: 195377), UNIFICACION EL ESFUERZO (Title: 196298), REDUCCION PROVIDENCIA TRES FRACCION 1 (Title: 215326), REDUCCION PROVIDENCIA TRES FRACCION 2 (Title: 215327), SANTA ROSA (Title: 218456), PROVIDENCIA CUATRO (Title: 222595), PROVIDENCIA CINCO (Title: 222829), PROVIDENCIA SEIS (Title: 228264), LAS AGUILAS (Title: 236408), LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION (Title: 236409) and NUMERO UNO (Title: 236447).
During review of the Tarjetas de Registro Público of the 14 concessions mentioned above, no current contract was found was found between the company MINERA DE NATIVIDAD Y ANEXAS, S.A. DE C.V. and a foreign company. In reality, there are many doubts about the project Natividad. It is said to have closed in January 2017, according to the Profepa. In the Directorio del Sector Minero, the registry of the company MINERA DE NATIVIDAD Y ANEXAS, S.A. DE C.V. updated in March 2017 mentions that the company has not responded to emails or calls from the Profepa. However, the neighbors of the surrounding communities maintain that there is activity beyond maintenance
Other concessions in the district of Ixtlán
It is important to mention other concession that touch part of the district of Ixtlán and that don’t appear in detail in the attached map.
1. Ixtepeji (Title: 242156), titled by the Comisariado de Bienes Comunales of Santa Catarina Ixtepeji.
The following concessions(from 2 to 8) in the Cartografía Minera layer are owned by Exploraciones Mineras Perreña S.A. de C.V., their original owner. But when reviewing the information in the public registry cards of the mine, these concessions indicate Metalúrgica Reyna S.A. de C.V. as the current concessionaire since 2015. The set of concessions includes San Francisco Cajonos, Santiago Laxopa, Santo Domingo Xagacía and Santa María Yalina. For now, they can be seen in CartoMinMexo, or downloaded from the Cartografía Minera from datos.gob.mx: 2. La Sierra (Title: 216745), 3. Sierra Madre 1 (Title: 236168), 4. Sierra Madre 2 (Title: 236169), 5. Sierra Madre 3 (Title: 236170), 6. SIERRA MADRE 5 FRACCION 2 (Title: 236173), 7. SIERRA MADRE V FRACCION 1 (Title: 240648) and 8. SIERRA MADRE IV FRACCION 1 (Title: 240648).
There are 2 more concessions in the Cartografía Minera in the Sierra Norte region, totally outside of the district of Ixtlán: Solaga (Title: 221676) and Solaga II (Title: 228029). The Tarjeta del Registro Público marks a termination agreement between the origial concessionare and Don David Gold Mexico, S.A. de C.V., in June and May 2013 respectively. However, both concessions continue to appear in the 2018 Cartografía Minera. Additionally, the Solaga(Title:221676) is classified as cancelled.
We have shared the concerns that have arisen after reviewing, contrasting, and analyzing various public documents and documents of mining companies. The intention is that by means of these findings, the Secretaría de Economía, the Cartografía Minera, and other official dependencies follow up their published data. In this way, citizens will have access to accurate and complete information.